Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

Thousands of Rohingya left homeless after fire

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Rohingya refugees work to rebuild their makeshift shelters in a camp in Cox's Bazar after the fire.

p>Agence France-Presse

Some 4,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh were left homeless after a suspected arson attack ravaged their camp, burning nearly 800 shelters, a Bangladeshi official said on Sunday.

Bangladesh is home to around a million Rohingya, many of whom fled Myanmar's 2017 military crackdown on the mostly Muslim minority, which is now under investigation by the country's police. UN for genocide.

In December 2020, Bangladesh also transferred more than a thousand Rohingya refugees to the island of Bhasan Char, a sedimentary formation regularly battered by hurricanes and floods, which the United Nations and human rights groups say are dangerous.

The UN refugee agency said around 7,000 Rohingya refugees were left homeless.

The fire ravaged a set of bamboo and tarpaulin shelters early Sunday morning in a camp in the southeast of the country, according to refugee commissioner Mizanur Rahman.

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At least 711 shelters were completely burned and 63 partially damaged, indicated M Rahman, adding that five educational centers and two mosques were also destroyed.

The fire, which was brought under control and was not destroyed. did not cause any casualties, leaving around 4,000 people homeless, he said.

We suspect arson, added the official, specifying that an investigation has been opened.

The United Nations refugee agency confirmed that a large fire had damaged many refugee shelters, adding that it was assisting those affected.

Fires are common in Bangladesh's dozens of Rohingya refugee camps, particularly during the dry season from November to April.

Many camps are also torn apart by violence between rival Rohingya groups.

Security in the camps has deteriorated in recent months, according to police who have documented more of 60 refugees killed in internecine wars and drug-related conflicts last year, the highest number ever recorded.

En March 2023, a fire in Kutupalong camp, one of the largest refugee camps in the world, destroyed some 2,000 shelters.

Two years earlier, at least 15 Rohingya were killed and 50,000 other refugees were left homeless after a fire in the same camp.

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